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Topic: A Bit lost how to help/support my husband

6 posts, 0 answered
  1. Wilks
    Wilks avatar
    2 posts
    5 January 2018
    Hi,
    This is my first time here.
    Currently I am lost as to what I could be doing to support my husband through a tough time in his life.
    A bit of background.
    We have been together for about 4 years, married end of last year. We live in a regional smallish town. He was in the Defences and discharged last year as well. He has had trouble finding a job that he enjoys or pays well in our area. Currently he is in a job and environment that I see as toxic. He often comes home cranky, sore and frustrated at the way the business is run. I listen to him vent; however it has become very regular and bitterer. I have seen his spirit reduce more and more over the last 6-8 months. I work in a well paying job but not exactly enjoying my job either - but I re-frame from venting too much to avoid making us all miserable. If he isn't venting, he is quite and withdrawn even through the weekends now. He has applied for other jobs, but has received "unsuccessful" letters. I have been helping him to do resumes/applications. I also trying to make home relaxed and make sure he does stuff he finds fun. However my habit is to over analyse everything or to put him before myself a lot, try to support by giving advice - this causes issues. I get burnt out and then when I raise my feelings of frustration, hurt etc. It seems to make matters worse.
    I am in a well paying job and have asked if this is an issue for him, he has responded that it isn't and its lucky that I do or we would be in strife. I make sure that we both contribute to the household (so it doesn't knock his self worth) - his as to be less of course due to his pay rate. He is always focusing on money when looking for a job instead of job satisfaction or his interests. He has said he just feels lost and doesn't know what to do. He is the most capable person I know.
    On top of this, my husband has daughters and has trouble getting his ex to let him have them for more than a weekend here and there. She has seemed to of gotten worse since we have married. It is breaking my heart to see him like this, and I just don't know what to do to help without letting my own "emotions/habits" get in the road.
    How can I handle this?
    1 person found this helpful
  2. Quercus
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    Quercus avatar
    3546 posts
    5 January 2018 in reply to Wilks

    Hi Wilks and welcome to the forums,

    Your story hits home to me. My husband has been job hopping and in a bunch of toxic environments for years now and I feel the same. That I'm watching him slowly exhaust himself and am helpless to make it better.

    I have a few things that have helped.

    • Recruit help! I often put my foot down hard and say ok this is BS you haven't made time for any of your friends in months so whther you like it or not you need to go fishing or out for dinner or SOMETHING! It does help him and it also helps me to have time out.
    • Encourage physical activity. We go for bushwalks. Work in the garden together. Take the kids to the pool for a swim and picnic. Basically just get him out of the house and active and not thinking about work.
    • Sex! I've become a pro at not being shy to ask. When he's angry and mentally tired his libido slumps. But sex/intimacy is good for all involved. So I started by teasing... "If you fall asleep that's ok I'll just take it as a compliment". I told him once I wanted to try an experiment. That sex would be the default every night for two weeks. He looked at me like I was insane. But the result was interesting to say the least. We were closer as a couple. He was less angry. There were days where to be honest neither of us could be bothered and funnily enough those were the days where being intimate helped the most. It is worth a try.
    • Get him to take mental health days from work. Sick days exist for a reason. So if he is sick make him use them. Annual leave built up? Take it and go camping or actually use the leave to do something relaxing.
    • Approach his ex. My friend has a difficult relationship with her ex... But when it comes from her husband in a firm but kind way her ex backs off. What kind of relationship do you have with his ex wife? Is she threatened by you? Maybe even just having a conversation (nothing serious just make polite conversation and make her aware the kids are still a priority to your husband).

    These are just some ideas. Feel free to disregard any that don't work for you.

    Also it is really important to remember that it is not possible for you to make him change. Some changes he has to want to do for himself. If he won't help himself you do not have to put up with the side effects. Yes he is struggling but that doesn't mean you have to put yourself last. You matter too.

    Please take care of yourself. I hope you can return and keep writing.

    Nat

    2 people found this helpful
  3. Sunny8
    Sunny8 avatar
    1 posts
    6 January 2018

    This is also my first time here, but some of what you said resonates. My partner and I have been together over 30 years. He is 59. Two years ago he lost most of his life savings in a bad investment ($1.2m), shortly after he broke his ankle and has been off work for 2 years, with no income for the last year.He was a keen marathon runner, but can't run at the moment. A month ago his employer medically terminated him. He does not cope in Aus. summers, he's from Europe. He sits at home like a hermit and spends most of his time posting on his blog (about the company he invested and lost money in). He sends me emails at work complaining about the heat and noise he's enduring at home. He says he doesn't want to be reliant on me financially (he is), if we go out and I buy us lunch, he is put out by me paying for him and I have to reassure him. He talks about returning to Europe (even though he doesn't have much money). He wants me to go with him overseas, but is worried I won't fit in and can't speak the language. I think it would cost me a lot of money and I'm a bit reluctant to leave a well paying job, being the sole breadwinner. I've tried to get him to consider counselling, but he doesn't believe this will help saying they can't bring back the $1.2m he lost, he would never take medication. I've suggested men's sheds, but he thinks they will only talk about cricket and football and ask about his accent. He has avoided the v. few friends we have. We're both introverted people and left most of our friends behind in Brisbane when we moved to Sydney 18 years ago.So its just him and I as I'm not close to my family. The last 2 years have been tough and I worry about him. Maybe the lifestyle change and move to Europe would be what we need, maybe it would make things worse. It feels like running away.

  4. Quercus
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Quercus avatar
    3546 posts
    7 January 2018 in reply to Sunny8

    Hi Wilks,

    I hope you are finding time to care for yourself as well as your husband.

    Sorry to detour for a moment...

    Hello Sunny8 and welcome to the forums.

    I'm sorry it took a while for you to get a reply. I feel for you in this position as it is incredibly hard to encourage someone to seek medical help (which your husband needs) when they don't want to help themselves. I hope you are at least finding supports offline for yourself.

    You are most welcome (encouraged really) to write here and seek out members whose stories you relate to but please just keep in mind your story may get a little lost within another's thread.

    If that suits you that is fine but if you like you can also create a thread for your story.

    Nat

  5. Wilks
    Wilks avatar
    2 posts
    8 January 2018 in reply to Sunny8

    Hey Sunny,

    Yep you definitely start to feel alone sometimes. Partners don't see the way they are and when they deny it, sort makes you feel like you are over reacting.

    I recommend Nat's advice. This weekend i have tried some of it and noticed a slight improvement.

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Quercus
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Quercus avatar
    3546 posts
    9 January 2018 in reply to Wilks

    Hi Wilks (and a wave to Sunny),

    Welcome back 😊 Thank you for the feedback. That really meant a lot to me to know something helped you.

    How are you going? I have a couple of new additions to my list of suggestions if that's ok? Just things that came to mind today when hubby and I were working in the garden together and I was secretly watching him relax a bit.

    • Change your routine. How long has it been since you had a bbq dinner together outside? Sat on the lawn and had a picnic?
    • Encourage him to choose a new hobby. Mine chose beekeeping. A friend of mine fosters greyhounds.
    • If you haven't already... Consider animals! We have a german shepherd which hubby has to run. Whether he likes it or not it gets him out of the house. And he built a coop in anticipation of getting chickens. And we have 3 rabbits. Plus side... Animals mean work... And cuddles.
    • Keep his mind busy. Any chance you could get him to join a forum like this? For me this is my adult conversation after a day at home with small kids.
    • Similar to keeping busy... When is the last time he had mates over to play poker or darts or pool? Or whatever game is popular at your house. Or a bbq with friends over? There is more to life than work. We just forget that.

    By the way... How are you holding up?

    Nat

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